Monday, December 20, 2010

Tokens-

I started collecting things after I lost my first baby. Just, little things that remind me of him. I got a tattoo, I planted a tree, I bought a pendant. These objects aren't to help me remember, because I could never forget, but rather a way to keep them with me- something tangible I can see, touch, feel. I planted something for each of our losses. That hits me every spring. I'm still working on the tattoos.

The pendants were incomplete all year, but today I finally received the last one. Now, they're all together. I love them so much. There they are, little footprints, names etched in the metal, with the colored beads that represent the months that I lost them. Green. Blue. Yellow.

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I bought these for my babies, because I started collecting birds with my babies. After the first one. I got a sparrow tattoo for him. I bought these because there were three different colors, and at the time I didn't even think about what colors. But, they are perfect for representing my babies- in so many ways.

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I bought an ornament for the first baby, in 2008. It's a shell with a pearl in it, and it says, "Every life leaves something beautiful behind".

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This one is for the second baby, and it's the ultrasound picture, on the cover I etched "2009". I debated about putting that in there, wondering if people would think it morbid, or too weird. But then I remembered that our tree is for us, and us alone. And our babies are a part of us. Sure other people might see the tree, but they will just have to deal with it if they have a problem.

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I made this one for the last one we lost. It's a simple clear globe, inside I hung a single angel wing. On the outside I etched "2009". The lights behind it make it glow so pretty on the tree. The photo isn't very good, it was really hard to get a decent one.

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This is purely coincidence, but I already had these. And they hang there all year. Three of them. When they're lit up in that dark room, they're so beautiful. The fact that there are three, now makes me think of my babies. Even if that was never their intention.

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And these, well, these are part of the reason why my friend Am- is so awesome. This is why I decided a long time ago that she is my unofficial adopted sister. She is amazing. She's an artist, and I have to say there are benefits to that. But this was above and beyond. She made us these paintings, and at first glance you might ask what's so utterly amazingly special about them. I'm talking priceless, and I would cry my eyes out if I lost them. The lighting in the photo doesn't really do them justice I'm afraid.

But, notice the colors. Green, blue, yellow. Yeah. Our babies. She remembered our babies. She made the abstract for my husband, because he needs a little disorder in his life, she joked. And mine, she made to represent me, and the three twirling spirit ribbons- yeah, you guessed it. She said she cried when she made them, thinking about what we've went through. Did I not tell you she is amazing?

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You might wonder about the faery in front of them... an impulse buy at the thrift store. I love her very much, I collect faeries anyway. But she's special. In her hands in a bird nest, and withing in a little baby bird crying out. It made me think of my first baby.

These are not by far my only tokens. I have a sleeping angel statue for the first one, and plenty of other small things like my triquetra earrings. I know it might seem odd to keep so many things, and I'm sure people think I'm a little off for it. But these are my only children. And I have nothing to hold onto about them. I can't tell what the future holds, if we'll be able to conceive, if we'll be able to adopt, if something will happen to myself or my husband. The future is completely uncertain. Yes, we can hope for things to come together... but we can't know that they will.

Right now, these are my only children. And I miss them. I will always miss them. And for all I know, they are all I'll ever have. So I'm going to treasure them, and miss them.

I hate that we are sometimes stigmatized by some people for collecting such tokens. It shouldn't be like that. We're grieving. We miss our children. It's completely normal to feel this way, and to collect little reminders of their presence. I can't hold them, but I can touch my necklace and let the ache pass.

9 comments:

unaffected said...

I think the tokens/ornaments are a beautiful tribute to your babies. I also don't think that the u/s picture is morbid at all.

Melis.sa said...

I think it's a great idea having reminders of your babies around. I wish I could think of something clever or creative to remember mine. The paintings are beautiful and your friend sounds super sweet.

I think the faerie would bring me to tears every time I saw it.

((HUGS)) I hope the holidays are a great reminder of the wonderful relationship you and your dh have.

Mrs Bishop said...

Stephanie, those are beautiful. And don't let anyone make you feel strange for the ornaments or anything else. We all grieve in our own ways.

Connie's Confessions said...

I think your tokens are wonderful and beautiful. Great way to honor your lost ones!

Me on the otherhand, I couldn't bring myself to do that. I tried but I am the type of person who just want to forget and do not want any reminders. I don't even want to talk about it or want others to talk about it with me. I hear all the time of people who become angry if their baby(ies) is forgotten.... when I get angry if anyone brings it up. I don't know if that is a good think or not but I guess we all handle our grief differently. Oh well!

Another Dreamer said...

Connie, definitely. Everyone grieves differently; there is no right or wrong way.

Celia said...

They are lovely and if some people don't get it, they can kiss my fat ass. I have a friend on FB that is pretty unhinged with grief after the death of her preemie daughter. She photoshopped her daughter into a picture of santa and posted it. That is a little extreme, but I think it is important to witness her pain and not try to pretend her baby never happened. It is a cute picture, if you don't over think it.

Grief is a personal thing. I feel like it is a betrayal of our first baby when people ask and I tell them we have one child.

Katie said...

These are all such beautiful and meaningful reminders of your babies. I am so glad you have each of these things to remember your angels.

xo

iamstacey said...

The ornaments, the little birds and the necklace are beautiful! What wonderful reminders of your little angels. You should never feel ashamed of having them! Be proud of your babies and of all you've been through. You've earned it.
Have a wonderful holiday!

Meng Kiat Janis said...

All your ornaments are so beautiful. I like the glass globe you made with the angel wing. And I do wish things are vastly different. ((hugs))